Months of intense heat and devastating bushfires have wreaked unprecedented havoc on Australia, killing over one billion animals, burning an estimated 15.6 million acres of land, taking the lives of at least 24 people, and destroying thousands of homes.
And while the country is no stranger to bushfires, this is said to be the worst on record and has been raging since July, due to record-breaking temperatures and months of drought which helped the fires tear through bush, woodland, and national parks.
Luckily over the past few days, the east coast was battered by heavy rainstorms, bringing some relief to residents, animals, and firefighters in the area.
While progress has been made, there’s still no clear end in sight, which is why it’s understandable if you feel helpless and unsure how you can actually help and make any kind of a difference—especially if you’re on the other side of the world.
And sure, you might not be able to help the thirsty koalas directly or offer the firefighters assistance, but there are a number of ways that you can still help and make a difference for the future of Australia.
Here’s a list of ways you can help.
Australian Red Cross
The Australian Red Cross is accepting monetary donations to support thousands of people in evacuation centres and recovery hubs across Australia, according to its website.
The organization says it is also providing emergency grants to people to help cover the costs of their immediate needs.
Salvation Army Australia
While Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams are currently active at multiple sites across the country assisting thousands of people each day, you can make a donation to Salvation Army Australia online here.
Donations go toward giving immediate relief and support to firefighters, emergency workers, evacuees, and communities by providing meals, bedding, care packs, and cash grants.
Helping First Nations Communities
A designated crowdfunding page has been set up to provide aid to First Nations communities impacted by the fires. According to the GoFundMe page, the aim of the fundraiser is to offer “culturally sensitive, specific, direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses.”
At the time of publication, the fundraiser has already raised over $1.3 million.
Australian organization Givit matches those seeking assistance with specific items they need. Canadians looking to help can make a monetary donation online. According to its website, Givit uses 100% of the money received to purchase “essential items.”
Save the Children
Save the Children is accepting donations to support their child-friendly evacuation centres in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales and in Bairnsdale in Victoria. The spaces are providing support and relief to children and families as they focus on recovery and rebuilding.
St. Vincent de Paul Society Bushfire Appeal
The St. Vincent de Paul Society in Australia is helping victims in New South Wales by using donations for food, clothing, and necessary expenses.
Those interested in donating to help Australia’s wildlife can help the devastated animal population by giving to:
Animal Rescue Collective
Staff with Animal Rescue Collective are sewing pouches for Australia’s orphaned or injured kangaroos, koalas, and bats. Donations go toward purchasing supplies to make pouches as well as support for care of animals rescued in the fires.
World Wildlife Fund
The Word Wildlife Fund has made an “urgent appeal” for monetary donations, which will go toward nationwide emergency wildlife responses to help rescue and care for our injured animals.
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is also seeking donations to cover veterinary costs, milk and supplements, extra holding, and rehabilitation enclosures and to set up a building to house and treat injured animals.
RSPCA of New South Wales
This organization is also seeking monetary donations, as it continues to assist at evacuation centres and helping keep pets and livestock safe from the fires.
Other organizations accepting donations to help wildlife:
- WIRES, an Australian wildlife rescue nonprofit
- Port Macquarie Koala Hospital
- Currumbin Wildlife Hospital
- Animals Australia Federation
If you’re interested in supporting the firefighters on the front-line of the battle, you can do so by donating to:
- New South Wales Rural Fire Service
- Victoria’s Country Fire Authority
- Country Fire Service in South Australia
- Queensland Rural Fire Brigades Association
There are a number of brands that are currently donating a proceed of profits made this month to a number of organizations.
Nelson Made, an Australian-made shoe brand, will be donating 20% of its profits until the end of January to New South Wales Rural Fire Services, WIRES, Foodbank Australia, Victorian Country Fire Association, and to First Nations Communities.
Pura Vida Bracelets
Costa Rican brand Pura Vida is donating 100% of profits made from its Australia Fire Relief bracelet to the American Red Cross who will then direct all funds to the Australian Red Cross.
The Australian-based retailer is donating 50% of the Bianca Spender Ltd. profits for the entire month of January to organizations working at the forefront of the bushfire disaster including the rural fire services and Australian Climate Council.